Minority Biz - Small Business Tips and News for Minority Owned, Black Owned, and Women Owned Businesses

Three young D.C. entrepreneurs aim to serve some heart-warming hope and hospitality as they open their first venture, The Village Cafe, inside Union Market. Kevon King, Mahammad Mangum and Ryan Williams who met as kids, and bonded at Woodrow Wilson High School, maintained a friendship, and recently agreed to make a change in their career trajectories.

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The John C. Lodge Freeway, which was first built in the 1950s and named after the former mayor in 1987, connects the city of Detroit to the suburbs, ending in Southfield. That was the inspiration behind native Detroit media personalities Jemele Hill and Kelley L. Carter founding Lodge Freeway Media: to connect the world to stories about people of color, specifically women.

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Representing one of their largest contribution ever, member companies of the Inclusion Initiative spent more than $240 million last year with black law firms and other minority firms including women-owned (MWBE) law firms.

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The city of Detroit has two problems when it comes to the multimillion-dollar residential projects popping up all around the city: inclusiveness to African-Americans living in them and African-Americans developing them. At least one of those issues were addressed for the three new residential projects being developed in the city’s historic Brush Park neighborhood on the outskirts of downtown.

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Black-owned makeup line Pat McGrath Labs recently secured a $60 million deal from New York-based investment firm Eurazeo Brands, with beauty industry insiders speculating that its valuation has been raised to $1 billion and surpassing that of Kylie Jenner’s cosmetics company (valued at $800 million), according to a press release from the investment firm. Eurozeo will become minority shareholders in Pat McGrath Labs

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Aliaume “Akon” Thiam is taking his personal project of building Africa’s infrastructure with the creation of a futuristic city in Senegal whose economy he says will be powered by AKoin, his soon-to-be-launched cryptocurrency.

According to the New York Post, the U.S.-born artist and producer, who is of Senegalese descent, revealed the details of “Akon Crypto City” while speaking on a panel at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

“I think that blockchain and crypto could be the savior for Africa in many ways because it brings the power back to the people and brings the security back into the currency system and also allows the people to utilize it in ways where they can advance themselves and not allow government to do those things that are keeping them down,” Akon said at the Cannes Festival, according to The Post.

The futuristic city will be built on 2,000 acres of land that was gifted to him by Macky Sall, the president of Senegal, and is within 5 minutes of the newly built international airport and also a short drive from the capital city of Dakar, according to its official website. Deeming it the “real-life Wakanda” the site says the cryptocurrency will be a part of AKoin Ecosystem—a global project that “offers an abundance of digital and in-real-life platforms and experiences that create opportunity and inclusion for youth entrepreneurs by allowing consumers to buy, hold, and spend cryptocurrency right from their smartphone through a suite of blockchain-powered apps.”

In 2014, Akon teamed up with Thione Niang and Samba Bathily on an ambitious project to provide electricity to African countries through solar energy. Four years later, the group claims to have operations in 14 countries including Guinea, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Benin and Sierra Leone.

When asked technical questions by the panel, he said “I come with the concepts and let the geeks figure it out” per the Post.

Source

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In a move that could see more investments for startup founders of color, rapper and business mogul Jay-Z is launching Marcy Venture Capital Partners in partnership with Roc Nation President Jay Brown and Silicon Valley veteran Larry Marcus, whose investments focus on digital media and consumer services.

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Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and The Oasis of Vine City Inc.—a CDC of the Higher Ground Empowerment Center Church along with its pastor, the Rev. Bishop Dexter L. Johnson—announced in a groundbreaking ceremony a new development project that will create jobs and help ease the strains of community displacement in the Vine City community near Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

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The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) was recently awarded a contract for $90.8 million to Kal Krishnan Consulting Services/Triunity Engineering & Management Joint Venture for program management support services. The post Metro Board Awards Largest Contract Ever to Small, Minority-Owned Businesses appeared...

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Jay Z is launching a new venture capital fund according to a news report from Axios. Reportedly, Jay Z (Shawn Carter), will partner with the venture capital firm Sherpa Capital, which has invested in companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Slack. He also will partner with Jay Brown, a longtime business partner and president of Roc Nation. The...

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